Newly-promoted Fulham will be targeting a winning start to their Premier League campaign when they host Crystal Palace at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
The Cottagers were busy in the transfer market and brought in 11 fresh faces in a bid to maintain their Premier League status after earning promotion from the Championship via the play-offs. This is Fulham’s first time back in the top-flight since 2014 when they were relegated after finishing 19th.
Manager Slavisa Jokanovic has added the experience of Calum Chambers and Andre Schurrle to his squad. They have also brought in loanees Luciano Vietto from Atletico and Timothy Fosu-Mensah from Manchester United.
— Slavisa Jokanovic (@Jokanovic) August 10, 2018
Jokanovic said: “Palace are a Premier League team – definitely more experienced than us on this level. We know how they are dangerous in this offensive side – [Christian] Benteke, [Wilfried] Zaha and [Andros] Townsend but we must be careful of Luka Milivojevic too who can hurt the team and many things depend on him.”
Meanwhile, Crystal Palace will no doubt be determined not to repeat the disastrous start to the season they had to endure last season, when manager Frank de Boer was sacked after only four games.
The Eagles are now led by Roy Hodgson who helped steer them clear of the relegation zone last season and finish in a respectable 11th position. Incidentally, Hodgson previously managed Fulham between 2007 and 2010.
Palace have added four new players to their ranks. Vicente Guaita, Cheick Kouyate, Max Meyer, and Jordan Ayew have all joined Hodgson’s side at Selhurst Park.
— Andros Townsend (@andros_townsend) August 10, 2018
Hodgson said: “We know more than most what a bad start can bring. We all want a good start. If we get off to a good start, there will be teams getting off to a bad start.
“We just need to make sure we are fully prepared for the first game and make a good game of it. We feel we’re ready.”
In team news, Fulham will be unable to call upon new signing Alfie Mawson, who is still recovering from knee surgery, while Palace are unlikely to start Max Meyer as he is not match fit yet.